17 people were killed at a upscale hotel in Somalia when Al-Shabab militants stormed the building after a suicide bombing (Al-Jazeera). Attacks in Somali cities have decreased over the past few years but the militants still control most of the rural areas in the country. Somalia’s government is supported by the UN and the US. The country has slowly been returning from the brink of being a failed state.
Back in 1993 Mogadishu was the site of a failed attempt to arrest a Somali warlord named Mohammed Farrah Aidid. The US sent in teams of special ops forces, but when a blackhawk helicopter was shot down the mission changed to that of rescuing the crew. The debacle ended with the death of 20 US and allied deaths and 75 injuries. Aidid got away.
During the raid Lt General William Boykin took some photos from his helicopter of what appeared to be large human like black shapes in the sky. He later showed those photos during some of his speeches to religious groups of which he was a member. There was some controversy about the presentations and remarks he made regarding the raid and Islam. He retired and moved on to a career in education.
There is simplicity in recruiting extremists and running terrorist operations from a failed state or un=administered territory. There is ease in creating groups of religious fanatics if they are convinced their leaders are talking to Allah, or more likely the Angel Gabriel. Had the US mission been successful militant groups in North Africa would have had a more difficult time gaining a foothold.
Hopefully Somalia can be returned to being a healthy democratic state where it’s people can flourish and prosper in peace and freedom.